Author Topic: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?  (Read 301 times)

Offline Allwheeldrive

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2017, 11:40:12 AM »
Torque is torque, if the original bike could make use of its torque, and your geared to match the Argo I donít see any reason why youíd bog down a more powerful engine when the original would not. As for as the engine is concerned it doesnít know what kind of machine it is mounted in. It only feels the strain based on gearing which you have control of.  Assuming this is going to be a springer. I Donít really see treacherous goopy mud in your future anyways.   

Offline SARgo1

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2017, 08:16:12 PM »
calipers on the front wheels / axle will not work do to too small of disc.  You will just make smoke.   Better to add a disc brake to the input shaft of the trans or 1 additional caliper for each existing rotor.
Other wise just set it up like the later bigfoots with the handle bars and cable brake.

Now that I think of it, there would also be a need to get the brake lines through the tub to the calipers. Which would mean another set of holes in the hull, which I'd rather not do either. So that idea is kinda dead I'm thinking. A second set of smaller calipers on the main discs would work well for a park brake though. Hydraulic or manual, either is good enough for a park brake. Maybe an edge to manual to cut down on any more complexity than needed.

After looking over the options to build an electric solenoid or air shifter, it seems to me that it might be best to go with a heel-toe shifter. For simplicity's sake if nothing else. Probably on the far RH side of the foot well for the driver. That would make the operation of the drivetrain as "motorcycle like" as possible with a clutch and a foot shifter.

That means I can just keep the two sticks and the stock braking/skid steer setup.

All I'd really have to add in that case is the LH clutch lever.

Hmm, I wonder if it would be worth it to add a foot brake in the RH foot well and put the heel toe shifter to the left of that? That would be as common as possible with a motorcycle control arrangement yet leave my Right hand with only a throttle to control and my left hand with only the clutch lever. I suppose that still leaves me with no park brake though....

So many variations possible....so much to think about before even striking one arc....

Offline Jerseybigfoot

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2017, 04:41:57 PM »
calipers on the front wheels / axle will not work do to too small of disc.  You will just make smoke.   Better to add a disc brake to the input shaft of the trans or 1 additional caliper for each existing rotor.
Other wise just set it up like the later bigfoots with the handle bars and cable brake.

Offline SARgo1

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2017, 02:28:21 PM »
Now tossing around an idea to go to a motorcycle handlebar type steering like the new argo's.

Would go something like so:

The handlebars would activate the stock argo brakes on teh transmission outputs for left and right skid steer. Not a problem to rig that up. That's just mechanical work.

The LH controls would have the clutch, like a regular motorcycle.

The RH side would have the twist throttle and a brake lever. The brake lever would work a caliper on either side of the machine for straight stopping. The calipers would be on the two front wheels.

Shifting would either be the electronic controls on the LH side (see the Honda controls in the picture above this post) or a "heel-toe" shifter on the floor.

All this would also likely mean a new frame would need to be built. Something along the lines of the way this gent went:



Making a new frame really doesn't give me too much heartache as the stock frame is about as rigid as a cooked spaghetti noodle. Not the best to hang a suspension off of. You want the suspension to move, not the frame. A new frame would give me a blank sheet to design the springer suspension around as well as the engine swap.

So it seems I've basically come down down to keeping the hull, the transmission and some of the drive (IE; chains, sprockets, etc) and tossing the rest. Probably even go with more commonly available bearings for the sprocket axles instead of those crazy expensive Argo specific bearings. With a stiff frame and a suspension, there's no longer a need for the bearings to compensate for the frame twisting around all over the place like a water wiggle so they can be just a normal set of tapered roller bearings.....
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 08:28:18 PM by SARgo1 »

Offline SARgo1

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 08:20:24 PM »
The clutch is one of my concerns for sure. It would have to be handle bar style clutch actuation.

So throttle on the right (as per Argo) and Clutch lever on the left. Brakes and steering would be stock Argo "pull the bars" braking and turning.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around that right now. My only real concern is getting bounced off the sticks in rough terrain and the engine stalling as the throttle goes to idle and the throttle stays engaged.

The throttle staying open isn't a concern as the VF carbs are spring loaded shut. Let go the grip, the snap to idle.

The only thing around here that's sticky is bog that could bog it down. Swampy, stinky, soupy bog. Nothing really gummy. But that comes down to driving style and path choice as much as anything else.

I'm not if sure the CVT is going to matter much in that situ anyways. The engine may load down, but the governor keeps the rpm up. With the RPM up, the CVT stays where it was. It's more about the governor and the engine loading unless I'm way off base here.

With a manual clutch, you just have to do the throttle work yourself. IE; when the wheels load up, you get the throttle up to keep wheel speed.

Crawling down a  slope is a different story, that would have to be shifted down on the motorcycle transmission as opposed to the cvt just gearing down with low rpm. Just have to get the right gear selected or you're going to get caught in the "trying to brake with pull levers and shift down" problem.

Now that I think of it I might add a brake lever on the RH Argo lever to actuate the two rear wheel brakes I'm going to install as a parking brake. Might let me shift on the fly on a downhill.

Or maybe a better idea is to have the bike transmission on a "heel-toe" style foot shifter so I don't have to worry about taking a hand of either lever to try and shift.

Ideally, all the controls would be on the levers, but that's just not practical. I'd need some kind of "airshifter" or solenoid arrangement to make it hand controlled shifting.

Hmmm......solenoids. I do have a LH lever control like this:



Does seem tailor made to shift a transmission up and down electronically.......Hmmm........ >:D

It's definitely not going to be the traditional way of driving an Argo, or even an 8x8/6x6.  It's going to be a a different style for sure and probably more like a buggy than an amphb, especially when the suspension is done. It's one of those things that I just won't know for sure until after it's done.

I thought of using the CVT clutch and the bike clutch, but that all just seems kind of messy  and you're into "kludged together" territory at that point. Just too much going on mechanically.

It's kind of a "one or the other thing" in my mind.

Like I said earlier, this is mostly just a mental exercise at this point. Tossing it around to see if a reasonable way ahead can be figured out.

May not do it at all.....

Offline wedge

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 03:14:55 PM »
YEA ! What I said PROUD !
Just put it in Short hand !  whistling

Offline ascaw

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 03:11:47 PM »

Offline wedge

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2017, 03:02:48 PM »
LMAO !
I am SO POUD  banana

Offline ascaw

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2017, 02:52:17 PM »
  As you said, maybe he can gear it low enough to comensate.
AAAWWWWW You did the same thing I do !!  fls
Boy Whipper and WFO are going to GET YOU !!  banana banana
HAHA Thank you buddy you just made me DAY  ;D ;D ;D ;D banana banana banana banana
[/quote]

I learnt from the best  rofl banana banana banana dance dance dance

Offline wedge

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2017, 02:40:00 PM »
  As you said, maybe he can gear it low enough to comensate.
[/quote]
AAAWWWWW You did the same thing I do !!  fls
Boy Whipper and WFO are going to GET YOU !!  banana banana
HAHA Thank you buddy you just made me DAY  ;D ;D ;D ;D banana banana banana banana

Offline ascaw

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2017, 11:25:38 AM »
Oh I see your going to retain the clutch set up , boy your going to have a lot of things going on . hand throttle, hand clutch, foot shift ?
so you may have a clutch issue for this is much heaver than a Quad especially when in deep mud trying to catch that correct gear. but maybe it will be geared low enough to handle it. if it were mine I would try and have the torque converter also that way you won't stall it creating more problems. popcorn

I was wondering the same thing with the clutch and gears.  When he is in the heavy mud or thick brush, steep hills etc. and he is bogging down, how would that affect the clutch and gearbox designed for a much lighter machine.  It probably wouldn't be a problem on open trails or a race track but out in the middle of uncharted territory may be a different story.  I'm sure SARgo1 could get it engineered to work but how reliable will it be under a heavy load in thick mud or a swamp or any other heavy resistance.  As you said, maybe he can gear it low enough to compensate.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 02:55:23 PM by ascaw »

Offline WFO

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2017, 09:40:41 AM »
Oh I see your going to retain the clutch set up , boy your going to have a lot of things going on . hand throttle, hand clutch, foot shift ?
so you may have a clutch issue for this is much heaver than a Quad especially when in deep mud trying to catch that correct gear. but maybe it will be geared low enough to handle it. if it were mine I would try and have the torque converter also that way you won't stall it creating more problems. popcorn
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Offline SARgo1

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2017, 10:50:13 PM »
I think your biggest problem will be somehow hooking the engine to the torque convertor and have enough room to fit everything together.

Initial look seems to indicate room is not problem.

The belt drive would go. Replaced by chain drive ro the argo transmission. Something like:





Will have to machine a new sprocket for the transmission input and/or a new input shaft, which will also mean retaining the motorcycle clutch system...
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 10:53:48 PM by SARgo1 »

Offline WFO

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2017, 09:10:49 PM »
I think your biggest problem will be somehow hooking the engine to the torque convertor and have enough room to fit everything together.
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Offline SARgo1

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Re: Is there a reason there aren't many motorcycle engine swaps?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2017, 08:28:31 PM »
I looked into it but after laying it out I Knew it was Not going  to work for my set up. I also have worked OR Looked at machines other people have tried this and turned into a Cobed up mess !
But Hay if you want to do it Go for it ! I am not saying it Can't be done but ya never know till you try !

Check. For the record, i wasnt being "catty". I was actually wondering what problems you had run into in an attempt or two so i could possibly avoid them. If I try at all....

As to others "cobbling up" stuff, that is all dependant on the individual and thier skill level/commitment.

I'm more concerned with power delivery characteristics and the practicality of the controls. Also how they will apply to an argo application.

The vf750 makes as much torque as the 18hp magnum as low as 1500 rpm (probably more than my particular 18hp magnum, which is older than dirt and can barely turn supertracks) and has a pretty much flat torque curve to its maximum. The vf is a freight train of an engine, even in the 600 lb bike it comes in. Its the 90 degree V config that does it. Engine is "fresh" in my vf, only has 30 thou kms on it.

The proposed donor:



Its in a near complete state, but it has stalled at this point for about 7 years now. Several other bikes have pushed it out of the spot light over the years and it honestly will likely never be finished. Shame to let that fantastic engine just waste away. Seems a shame to part it out too (lots of custom bits in there) but its just taking up space I dont have. Selling it whole isnt and option either, its not road ready. I need to make some custom parts for the cbr600rr swingarm, but i just can't get around to it and I don't really want to either. With two other bikes on the go (vmax engined venture and an fj1200), a Mustang autocrosser build and now the Argo/SARgo build, its a stalled project and is likely to stay that way. Like i said, I'll probably never finish it so its likely to be a parts donor for the argo project. I'm torn either way on it, but at least if i part it out to build the Argo, i'l get some use out of it.

And oddly enough, its about as tall as the Kohler and actually not as wide. Should drop in with a little custom mount work.

Power I'm not so worried about. The added gears of the vf box will keep it all down around 5,000 rpm and it makes as much (or more) than the 50-ish hp briggs v twins that guys seem to swap into amphibs. Definitely not as much power as the metro/swift/firefly swaps guys do to the argo's, which seem to do fine.

The controls are another story. Throttle is no big deal, same twist grip arrangement as the argo. But not so sure how a clutch application would work on the pull levers as well as working in a shift lever....more thought required on that one.

Everyone poo-poo'd springers at one time too....

:)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:10:58 PM by SARgo1 »